Lindsey Vonn’s mixed yet magnificent Olympic career came to an end on Thursday with a missed gate and, by extension, a missed podium in the women’s alpine combined event. Her bronze from Wednesday’s downhill will “99.9 percent” be her final Olympic medal.
But it will not be the 33-year-old’s final podium in the sport.
After her truncated run in the slalom portion of the combined, Vonn told reporters that she’s intent on breaking Ingemar Stenmark’s record of World Cup wins. Vonn’s 81 World Cup victories are already tops among women all time, and she needs only five more to tie Stenmark, with six setting herself alone at the top, the unquestioned Greatest of All Time.
“I am hoping that is just one season. I am not going to quit until I get that record, that is for sure, no matter how much pain I am in,” Vonn said, per Reuters. “But I really hope it only takes one more season because it would be difficult for me to continue on after that.”
Vonn’s extensive list of injuries are well-documented. A crash in a training run in Turin left her hospitalized, and it was no small measure of grit that she returned to the slopes to take eighth. In 2013, she tore her ACL and MCL and suffered a tibial fracture and would reinjure that same knee a year later. In November of 2016, she broke her right humerus, and still has 20 screws and a metal plate in her upper arm.
Plummeting 80 miles an hour down an icy mountain simply took the toll it invariably will on a human body, and Vonn’s is losing its ability to keep up.
“It all depends on my health,” she said. “You can guarantee that I am going to continue fighting until I get that record.”
More Olympic coverage from Yahoo Sports:
• Adelson: U.S. women’s hockey caps new legacy with Olympics gold
• Passan: American halfpipe duo earns medals to match their tattoos
• Wetzel: How U.S. women’s hockey smiled in the face of enormous pressure
• Busbee: One road ends as another begins for Shiffrin, Vonn
• North Korea to troll South Korea, USA again at closing ceremony